Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

Archive for May 17th, 2007

Here, Bullet

Posted by metaphorical on 17 May 2007

There’s a great poetry thread going on over at Brookynite’s place; some very nice poems have been posted.

My favorite book of poems of the moment is a bit harrowing, so maybe not perfect for librarian’s salon. But I can’t pass up an opportunity to pimp it. (And yes, the rest of the book is this good too. More info and ordering here.)

The author, Brian Turner, is the real deal — an MFA poet who then served in Iraq. One humorous note, and then on to the harrowing. I ordered from Abebooks and the shipper did the usual lastname, firstname. When added to the comma-spliced title poem name, the e-mail confirmation said: “Turner, Brian Here, Bullet”. Which took me a few seconds to parse.

Anyway, back to Turner, whose poems do to me what poetry is supposed to — stop the world for a heartbeat, then start it again with a flow of blood behind your ears so strong you can hear it as much as feel it. Understanding unfolds like the dawn herself, and each time you re-read a poem, a new part of the sky lightens, until you can see clear out to the horizon. At least, that’s how it works for me.

Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

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